Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Harappans were Vedic People – say the deciphered Indus seals

Harappans were Vedic People – say the deciphered Indus seals

             Skyviews of astronomical references in Rigveda & Ramayan have revealed that these represent the sky observed between 9000 BP and 7000 BP, whereas those of Mahabharata could be observed around 5000 BP. The archaeological excavations along the ancient courses of Saraswati and Indus rivers have reconstructed the history of Harappan Civilization which flourished in Indian Subcontinent between 6000 BP to 3500 BP. These have revealed that Harappans represented post Vedic civilization and there was continuity of culture since the Rigvedic era besides the other evidences.

            In addition to all these evidences which through light on the continuity of culture during the Holocene and since Rigvedic Era, a very large number of seals found from Harappan sites have supported the conclusion that Harappan were Vedic people. Various attempts made earlier to decipher these seals had failed because attempts were being made to decipher these in isolation without taking into account the contemporary or previous language and literature. . In fact the seals could have been deciphered only after reading the Vedic literature and Rigvedic Sanskrit because a script cannot be independent of language.

            Dr. S.R. Rao & Dr. N. Jha appreciated the point that a script can’t be deciphered by using a non-existent language. That is why they made most successful attempt at deciphering the Harappan seals as they read these in the context of Vedic words & Vedic language. Dr. N.Jha referred to Nighantu, a concise glossary of key vedic words compiled by sage Yaska, referred to in Shanti parva in epic Mahabharata and to Nirukta (Shanti Parva.342.73, 93, 89).

            After comprehensive analysis of script on the seals and its consistency with Vedic wsords and expressions, he concluded that the language of the seals represented the Vedic Sanskrit while the writing itself is proto-alphabetical, representing an intermediate stage in the evolution from a primitive consonantal (syllabic) system to the scientific alphabetical writing, which is the unique achievement of the Indian civilization.

            In Indus writing, a word consists of a string of consonants, whereas vowels were to be supplied keeping the context in mind. Where ever the word was to begin with vowel, a ‘U’ shaped symbol was provided. In this way Dr. N. Jha very convincingly deciphered most of the seals. The details of such decipherment given in his books e.g. ‘VEDIC GLOSSARY ON INDUS SEALS’ reflect that Harappans were Vedic people, who combined the Aryans an well as the Dravidian culture, which has continued in India till date. Some of the examples are given below:
Swastika figurines:

The swastika on a Harappan tablet (left), and on pottery of the early historical era (top right: Rupar; bottom right: Ahichchhatra). (@ASI)



                                                                  Seals from Harappa

          The Swastika symbol is an apt example of link between Vedic & Harappan cultures. The word swastika stands for svasti-ka i.e. ‘maker of welfare’. Both of the above signs appeared in Vedic literature and were also used in many Vedic ceremonies. The right figurine in particular represents sacred panca-svasti mantra found in Yajurveda (25.18-19), where the word ‘Svasti’ appears five times as:

तमीशानं जगतस्तस्थुषस्पतिं धीयञ्जिन्वमवसे हुमहे वयम्।
पूषा नो यथा वेदसामसद् वृधे रक्षिता पायुरदब्ध: स्वस्तये।। यजुर्वेद (25.18)
स्वस्ति नs इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवा: स्वस्ति न: पूषा विश्ववेदा:।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमि: स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु।। (25.19)

We invoke him who may bring us welfare,
May the respected Indra guard our welfare,
May the omniscient Pushan guard our welfare,
May the Universal Creator guard our welfare,
May the Great Protector bring us welfare.

            Similar invocations are found in Rigveda as well. It is important to take note of the fact that such Swastika seals were found during excavations from several Harappan sites including Harappa, Mohenjodero, Lothal and Kalibangan.

The Pranavakshara / OM & Ashvattha sign:
One look at these seals depicting Om combined with Ashvattha leaves will bring before our minds eye several references in Vedas. The maker of these seals obviously was a tremendous designer and had good knowledge of Vedas


                Fig.1                                                                                                       Fig.2

 (Mohenjodero “seal with motif of a two headed Unicon & the pipal tree in OM Shape after S.R. Rao)

         Such seals have been found from several Harappan towns. When viewed from different angles, these convey different Vedic Expressions. In Fig.1 the seal represents the couplet of Mundakopanishad (2.2.4) which says that “Om is the bow, the soul is the arrow, and Brahma is the target. With full concentration, aim at the target and strike, to become one with Brahma, just as the arrow becomes one with the target”.

It also represents a stanza (shloka) of Bhagavadgita (15.1). “The Ashvattha tree has its roots above and branches down; this symbolizes the Vishva Vriksha with branches below and God above. One who understands this has understood the Vedas.

In Fig.2 the Sanskrit/ Devnagari ‘Om’ apparent.

Bull seals representing Indra

    Fig.1                                                                                              Fig.2

                                                           Seal from Harappa

          In Vedic literature God Indra is associated with the bull as the symbol of strength. (Rigveda.1.7.8 & 1.139.6). In Fig.1 the script engraved was decephered as Indra by Dr. N.Jha. Such seals have been excavated from several Harappan towns, perticularly Harappa and Mohenjodero.

Pashupati seal and Shivlinga

 (from Harappa & Kalibangan)

 (Indus seal © ASI)                     

                             Mohenjodero ‘seal 420’ after ‘S.R.Rao’

         It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The above two figurines do not need much explanation. Both represent Lord Shiva, who is worshipped by Vedic Aryans, by Harappans as well as by modern day Indians in the same shape and form. These should be adequate enough to establish the connection between Harappan & Vedic civilization and continuity till date.

        The inscriptions on 2nd seal need some explanation. To decipher the inscriptions one need to understand the Niruktas and Nighantus. The inscription is deciphered by N Jha as ‘ishaadyattah maaraah’, which means ‘Evil adversaries controlled by Isha (Pashpati Seal) 

                   0308 Mohenjodaro seal

Seal with a motif of a man holding or keeping apart two tigers. This seal reminds us of king Bharata, son of Shkuntala & Dushyant and ancestors of kauravas & pandavas of Mahabharata.

            There are many more such instances of Indus seals having inscriptions of Vedic expressions. Thus there is no doubt that Harappans represented the post Vedic civilization and artifacts as well as the seals found were similar to the descriptions in Rigveda

Saroj Bala, Kulbhushan Mishra. 2012. Historicity of Vedic and Ramayan Eras
N.S. Rajaram. 2006. Sarasvati River and the Vedic Civilization
Michel Danino. 2010. The Lost River (on the trail of the SARASVATI)
K. S. Valdiya. 2002. SARASWATI (The River that Disappeared)
Bhagwan Singh. 1995.  THE VEDIC HARAPPANS
श्री राम शर्मा. आचार्य. 2003. ऋग्वेद संहिता

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Genetic affinity of the Bhil, Kol and Gond mentioned in epic Ramayana

Genetic study of Ramayana tribes rejects Aryan invasion theory and supports indigenous common ancestry of Indian populations

            An international team of researchers consisting of geneticists, anthropologists and Research Scholars have found that Ramayana, composed around 7,100 years ago, is a chronicle of events and characters recorded by Sage Valmiki and is not a work of fiction. They also found that North Indians & Dravidians share their genetic profile; they have lived in India for more than 12000 years and there is no evidence of any Gene –inflow.

            Normally it is being taught in schools and colleges in India that Aryans immigrated into Indian Subcontinent from Central Asia around 1500 BC and that the aboriginal Indians who were uncivilised at that time were defeated and pushed towards south & they became Dravidians whereas invading Aryans occupied North India and are settled there till date. This view was based on linguistic guess work but many scientific researches like astronomy, archaeology, paleobotany, and space imagery have been providing evidence that this Aryan Invasion theory is incorrect, having no scientific basis.

            Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas had earlier reported that skyviews of planetary references in Ramayana could be seen sequentially 7100 ago and that several archaeological and paleobotanical evidences had supported these dates for Ramayana era Latest in the series are the genetic studies. A paper published in the internationally reputed journal PLOS ONE has thrown light on this issue by utilizing the data obtained from Valmiki Ramayan and testing this with the genetic studies carried out by using advanced genetic research and tools. The research team comprised of:

1.      Geneticist, Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, from Estonian Biocentre, Tartu
2.      Traditional Anthropologist, Prof. V.R. Rao, Anthropology Department, Delhi University
3.      Ramayana Scholar, Mrs. Saroj Bala, Director of the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas
4.      IITian from Delhi, Mr. Anurag Kadiyan,

            The team extracted detailed information about Indian tribal populations from the oldest epic Valmiki Ramayana and tested their concordance and discordance with the high resolution genetic data. This was an interdisciplinary project between the scientists and scholars from India and from Estonia. It took around three years to complete this research project.

            To begin with, the team selected three main tribal populations, namely: Kol (e.g. Guh Nishad), Bhil (e.g. Bhilni) and Gond (from Dandakvan area), and extracted references to these tribes from different chapters of Ramayana, along with their geographic locations. Then they, particularly Dr. Gyaneshwar Chaubey, scanned hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms among these three ancient tribes, and also compared the results with their neighboring populations and other world populations.
            The analysis, conducted using various statistical methods/tools, suggested that:
·      These tribes have been living in India for last more than 12000 years and there are no evidences of any gene inflow.
·      The genetic structuring of these ancient tribes is largely similar to their contemporary tribal and caste populations, suggesting genetic continuity of Indian population for more than 10000 years.
·      Further, extent of genetic component sharing among different populations reflected their similarity with other Indian populations establishing that these were primarily founded over indigenous component, having continuity since last over ten thousand years.

            The team has also concluded that all Indians from North or from South, irrespective of their caste and tribal affiliations, share a common genetic ancestry, which is undoubtedly founded over the indigenous ASI component.

Title: Genetic affinity of the Bhil, Kol and Gond mentioned in epic Ramayana